Know Your BDM: Rachel Bridle, The Nottingham

  • 26/01/2024
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Know Your BDM: Rachel Bridle, The Nottingham
This week Mortgage Solutions is speaking with Rachel Bridle, business development manager (BDM) at Nottingham Building Society.

What locations and how many advisers and broker firms do you cover in your role? 

My remit is focused on clients across the South of England. 


What personal talent/skill is most valuable in doing your job? 

The most valuable personal skill is the ability to build and nurture strong relationships. Establishing and maintaining meaningful connections with brokers is paramount to success. Effective communication, empathy, and a keen understanding of their needs allow me to not only provide tailored solutions but also foster a sense of trust and collaboration. These interpersonal skills are the cornerstone of creating enduring partnerships, ensuring that brokers view me not just as a representative but as a reliable ally in their endeavours. The ability to cultivate these relationships not only enhances our mutual success but also contributes to a thriving and dynamic business ecosystem. 


What personal talent/skill would you most like to improve on? 

I would really like to improve my gardening skills as it has taken a bit of a back seat, particularly in the past year. I enjoy spending time outside and did have a beautiful-looking garden during the pandemic. However, this year I haven’t been so focused on it and the poor roses show it. In 2024, I am determined to get it looking nice again and improve my knowledge of what plants work well in different areas as we get a lot of sunshine in my garden. 


What’s the hardest part of your job? 

The ever-changing market and I can see it from the broker’s point of view too. What would have been straightforward a few years ago isn’t the case anymore. Cases appear to be more complex, and this requires brokers to spend more time sourcing an option for clients. The way I try to overcome these challenges is to remain up to date on industry changes and talk with brokers. 


What do you love most about your job? 

Going out there and building strong, personal relationships with clients and brokers alike, which helps me to be as supportive as possible in what can often be a stressful time. I’ve also found that the culture within The Nottingham is amazing.  


What’s the best bit of career-related advice you’ve ever been given? Who gave it to you? 

To persevere in what I’m passionate about. After finishing school, I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but thought finance would be a good option, as I enjoyed math. I studied accountancy and taxation at university but decided it wasn’t the job for me as I enjoy talking to people too much. Instead, I decided to apply to work in a branch of Cheltenham and Gloucester (C&G) where I was able to talk to different people and help with their financial decisions.  

I am really keen that everyone should have a good understanding of their finances and how decisions can have a long-term impact, particularly younger generations. That is something I am currently trying to teach my son about. 

It was during my first role at C&G I was told to go for what I am passionate about and it has really paid off as I am now in a role which I love. Knowing I am helping to make a difference is really rewarding. 


How do you keep up to date with developments in the market? 

By checking industry updates on LinkedIn or catching up with other local BDMs. Coming from a broker background, I have built up good relationships with other BDMs. It’s really important to have a relationship with other lenders as well to update my knowledge and support each other. 


What is the most quirky/unique property deal you’ve been involved in? 

There was a couple with an unconventional vision for extending their home. I was able to support them by collaborating with valuation experts to showcase the extension’s value, while complying with regulations. Through this tailored approach, we secured a mortgage, turning their dream into a reality.  


What was your motivation for choosing this career? 

Having worked in the industry for over 10 years now, financial services is what I love. Having been a broker myself for over six years it really suited me whilst my son was younger as I could remain local. When he got older, I was able to make a career change. There are many similarities between the role of a broker and a BDM – I get to ask lots of questions and find out more about the people I am talking to and find a solution. As a broker, I built up great relationships with my clients, some of whom I would now consider as friends. It has been the same since starting the BDM role where I have built up lovely relationships with brokers. Helping find an answer to a problem really is rewarding and what spurs me on in this job. 


What did you want to be growing up? 

As a child, I had a love for animals and always wanted to be a vet. However, I grew older and realised I wouldn’t always be dealing with cute and fluffy animals. There would be a less glamourous side, so I decided perhaps it wasn’t for me. 


If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

Being able to teleport everywhere. Often when I’m out on the road I can be driving long distances and I often think how easy it would be just to teleport between meetings. However, sadly that isn’t possible so I have to plan my days efficiently. 


What is your strategy for tackling challenges? 

To remain confident in myself that I will find a solution to any challenges I am faced with. Sometimes it can be difficult when you are faced with a problem, however if I maintain a positive outlook, it really helps in tackling any issues. I will always set realistic expectations and be clear about the steps I need to take, as a result, brokers have a clear understanding of what is going on and are happy in the knowledge something is being done. 


And finally, what’s the strangest question you’ve ever been asked? 

This had very little to do with mortgages, but it certainly got me thinking when a client asked me what animal would best represent me as a person. 

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